MnSearch Code of Conduct
MnSearch Code of Conduct
Last Updated on Sunday, March 5, 2023
MnSearch is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race and religious beliefs.
By participating in any MnSearch event, including our annual Summit, workshops, sessions, networking events, social events, board meetings, committee meetings and online events, all attendees, board members, exhibitors, partners, speakers, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and all others present at our events (“participants”) agree to abide by the following Code of Conduct.
We reserve the right to update this code at any time. All participants are held to the most current code, so we encourage you to check back often to remain up to date.
We’ve taken great care to create this Code of Conduct because we want you to fully participate and feel safe while doing so. If anything happens to you, or you witness anything happening to someone else, our team is here.
- General Expectations of All Participants
- Inappropriate Conduct, Defined (a.k.a. Stuff That Shouldn’t Happen to You)
- What to Do If You Experience or Witness a Code of Conduct Violation
- What MnSearch Will Do Once a Violation Is Reported
- Retaliation Is Strictly Prohibited
- A Note About False Reports
Be Kind and Respectful
We expect everyone to conduct themselves in a kind and respectful manner, to treat everyone with dignity and consideration, and to remain aware of how your opinions and/or behavior can impact others. Lead by example: consciously connect with others, be an active listener, be on time to sessions and celebrate diversity of viewpoints. Avoid things like jokes or insults that are lewd or discriminatory in any way (e.g., ableist, homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic), as they will not be tolerated, nor will any language that is violent or profane.
Be Inclusive and Professional
Start conversations, build connections, and be as inclusive as possible with your fellow MnSearchers. Unwelcome advances, either in-person or online, are strictly prohibited, as is making any inappropriate, suggestive or sexual comments toward others.
Be Aware of Power Dynamics
There are inherent power imbalances at play at professional events. From the notoriety of speakers to the unequal power between supervisor and employee, such power dynamics can lead to situations where certain individuals don’t have the ability to provide voluntary consent due to any number of fears. As such, any inappropriate or exploitative use of power at MnSearch events is strictly prohibited.
Watch Out for Others
If you witness this Code of Conduct being violated in any way or come across a situation that is in any way dangerous, please report that violation to a MnSearch Board Member as soon as possible.
Inappropriate Conduct, Defined (a.k.a. Stuff That Shouldn’t Happen to You)
As in all public spaces, you must always abide by local, state and federal laws. Moreover, MnSearch will not tolerate any of the following types of behavior.
Assault & Battery
Assault is an act of intentionally causing someone to reasonably fear imminent physical harm. Battery is the act of physically harming another person.
Examples of assault or battery include (but are not limited to):
- Verbal threats of physical injury or harm
- Pushing or punching someone
- Groping or any other unwanted touching
- Throwing an object at someone
- Attempted sexual assault or rape
Harassment is any behavior or suggested behavior, verbal or physical, that would cause another person to feel frightened, threatened, intimidated, oppressed or any other negative emotion.
Examples of harassment include (but are not limited to):
- Offensive written or verbal comments related to age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race and religious beliefs
- Repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words or gestures
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Sexual language or imagery or any actions that may create a sexualized environment
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Inviting, encouraging or soliciting a sexual act from another
- Harassing photography or recording
- Following someone physically or through electronic means
What to Do If You Experience or Witness a Code of Conduct Violation
If you or someone else is being harassed, have experienced assault, or have any concerns that threaten your safety or enjoyment of a MnSearch event, please report it to a MnSearch Board Member as soon as possible. You are welcome to make a written report here or speak to a Board Member in person; we’ll be wearing easily identifiable “Board Member” t-shirts for the duration of the event.
If you can’t quickly locate a Board Member, please call or send a text message to 612-567-2736. We continuously monitor this number during our events and will respond to any reports as soon as possible.
We know how difficult it can be to come forward as someone who has experienced a code violation. From fear of retribution to concerns about being “overreactive” and “sensitive” to worries of ruining someone else’s experience, we often stop ourselves from speaking up about things that happen to us. What happens to you matters. We’re here to listen to and support you.
When taking a report, MnSearch Board Members will make sure you’re safe and can’t be overheard. We may involve other event personnel to ensure your report is managed properly.
Once safe, we’ll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible. You’re also welcome to bring someone to support you. You won’t be asked to confront anyone or be required to make a written report to our board. We’ll respect your privacy and strive to keep your information confidential.
MnSearch Board Members can also help participants contact venue security or local guards, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of event.
Important Contact Details in Case of Emergency
- Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741
- Hennepin County Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies (COPE): Dial 612-596-1223
- Ramsey County SOS Sexual Violence Services (24-Hour Crisis Line): Dial 651-266-1000
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: Dial 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
- Local Law Enforcement: Dial 911
What MnSearch Will Do Once a Violation Is Reported
It is MnSearch’s policy to investigate all complaints of alleged Code of Conduct violations as if they are true. This ensures we provide anyone who reports a complaint with the support they require in the moment.
That said, MnSearch Board Members are expected to take an investigative approach to all incident reports. This means gathering as much information as possible, employing critical thinking skills and taking great care in determining a course of action in each situation.
If There Is an Immediate Threat to Anyone’s Safety
If the safety of anyone at a MnSearch event is in doubt, we will call venue security and/or local law enforcement.
For All Other Instances
MnSearch Board Members are expected to know and understand this Code of Conduct and are prepared to handle incident reporting . We’ll begin by taking a full report of the alleged violation. We’ll then decide whether to follow up on the report. If so, we’ll approach the respondent and ask them to share their experience.
We’ll make a good faith effort to gather all information before deciding whether any action will be taken against the respondent. This may include any of the following actions (or others not listed here):
- Provide a verbal and/or written warning
- Request that the respondent ceases interactions with and maintains appropriate physical distance from the complainant
- End a presentation that violates the Code of Conduct early
- Not publish or share the slides and/or full presentation of a talk that violates the Code of Conduct
- Immediately end any event responsibilities and/or privileges the respondent holds
- Remove the respondent from the event with no refund
- Ban the respondent from membership and/or holding volunteer positions with MnSearch
- Ban the respondent’s participation at future MnSearch online and/or in-person events, either indefinitely or for a set period of time
- Report the incident to law enforcement
A Note About False Reports
Reports of alleged Code of Conduct violations are not taken lightly. If you make a false report, you are in violation of this code and will face consequences.
Retaliation Is Strictly Prohibited
We won’t abide by retaliation of any sort against someone who in good faith reports a violation. Acting in a retaliatory manner is a code violation and will be handled as such.
Thank you for helping to make our events safe, friendly, warm and welcoming to all who wish to be part of our community.
If you believe there are ways that we can improve this Code of Conduct, reach out to us at [email protected].